Brine Shrimp is an ideal, disease-free first food for fish fry. A continuous supply of newly-hatched Brine Shrimp (nauplii) gets all young fish off to a great start in life.

However, not all hatchings are as successful as might be expected, so here's some tips from one of the leading Brine Shrimp suppliers to ensure you get the most out of the eggs, whatever grade you buy.

· Salinity: 25 parts per thousand (ppt) salt solution, or approximately 11/2 tablespoons of salt per quart (or liter) of water. This equates to around 1.018 specific gravity as measured with a hydrometer. Be sure to use marine salt or solar salt.

  · pH: Proper pH is important in hatching brine shrimp. A starting pH of 8.0 or higher is recommended. In areas where the water pH is below 7, Epson salt or magnesium sulphate can be added at the rate of 1/2 teaspoon per quart of solution to buffer the hatching solution.

  · Temperature: Optimum water temperature for a 24-hour complete hatch is 80-82°F or 26-28°C. Lowering the temperature would result in a longer hatching time. Do not exceed 30°C.

  · Light: Illumination is necessary to trigger the hatching mechanism within the embryo during the first few hours of incubation. Maintaining a light source during the entire incubation period is recommended to obtain optimum hatch results and for temperature control.

  · Aeration: Constant aeration is necessary to keep cysts in suspension and to provide sufficient oxygen levels for the cysts to hatch. A minimum of 3 parts per million dissolved oxygen during the incubation is recommended. Strong aeration should not damage or hurt the brine shrimp cysts or nauplii.

  · Stocking Density: 1 gram per litre or quart or approximately 1/2 level teaspoon of cysts per quart is recommended. A higher stocking density will result in a lower hatch percentage.

We are grateful to Brine Shrimp Direct for permission to use the above material. Visit their website for even more information and, of course, their Brine Shrimp Supplies direct to you!

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